Tehran sets conditions for oil to Europe

Tehran sets conditions for oil to Europe

TEHRAN - The Associated Press
Iran has laid out conditions for future oil exports to other European countries after halting sales to Britain and France earlier this week, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday.

The remarks by the spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, came a day after oil prices jumped to a nine-month high above $105 a barrel following Iran’s announced halts in crude shipments in an escalation of the dispute over the country’s nuclear program.

Tehran also said on Feb. 20 that it was considering extending the oil embargo to other European Union countries. The halt in crude to British and French companies was an apparent pre-emptive blow against the EU after the bloc imposed sanctions on Iran’s fuel exports, including a freeze of the country’s central bank assets and an oil embargo set to begin in July.

Many Western countries fear Iran’s nuclear program masks ambitions to build atomic weapons, and have carried out a string of sanctions aimed to press Iran to cooperate. Iran denies the charges, saying its program is for civilian-sector uses, such as generating electricity.

Mehmanparast told reporters yesterday that Tehran seeks guarantees of payments, long term contracts and a ban on unilateral cancellation of contracts by buyers. He said all these should be considered if Europe wants continued trade and oil relations.

The terms were conveyed in a meeting with ambassadors of six European countries in Tehran, Mehmanparast said. He did not say when the meting took place.